Applying for Financial Aid
Financial aid is money given by colleges and federal and state governments to help students pay for college or graduate school. This money is in the form of loans, grants, scholarships, and work-study. Loans and work-study must be repaid either through financial obligation (loans) or service to the college (work-study). By contrast, grants and scholarships do not have to be repaid.
There are two types of financial aid: need-based, which is based on your family's ability to pay, and merit-based, which is based on a student's academic, athletic, or special talent. The discussion here focuses primarily on need-based aid.